The Cape Fear Opioid Overdose Quick Response Team is a pilot program funded for two years by the North Carolina General Assembly. Local officials say that six months in – it appears to be working. WHQR has more on the team’s progress report – which came out today.
Local treatment facility Coastal Horizons and the Wilmington Police and Fire Departments manage the Quick Response Team.
Its mission is to reach overdose survivors and their family members, engage with them if they're ready to get into treatment, or offer other assistance. Officials say, on average, more than 10 overdose survivors per month go into treatment.
Kenny House runs Clinical Services at Coastal Horizons. He says it helps that doctors in the region are now prescribing far fewer opioids. But that doesn’t eliminate the issue.
“There's a life cycle to this problem. Part of it is that there was over-prescribing going on of opioids. As that now gets reduced, we'll see less new people. But we have a large population of people that are already addicted to opioids, so they are still transitioning to heroin, so there's still a large population at risk.”
House says cocaine usage has also risen in the area.
He says it will take five years or even longer, to measure the success of the Quick Response program.
Nationally, more than 130 people die every day after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.